Independent merchants are thriving – Opinion

The IPG has a network of well over 200 independent plumbers merchants and bathroom showrooms nationwide.

Installer spoke to Nike Lovell – Marketing Director at the IPG – about how the organisation operates, why installers should shop IPG, and the big plans for InstallerSHOW:

Q: Can you explain to us how The IPG works?

Nike: The IPG was born 10 years ago, it started with an idea… to offer a solution to support independent stores and enable them to thrive and compete better against the other players.

Our members are independent, and essentially, we act as their support centre. Our services are all optional but include negotiating strong commercial deals and unlocking access to key suppliers, building websites, creating social media content, general marketing and whatever else they need to help their businesses compete in today’s marketplace. Of course, the very nature of independents is that they are all unique and have differing needs, which is why we have modular support tools in place. But fundamentally, that’s how we see ourselves, the support vehicle for our members.

The collective power of the group enables members to save time and money and enjoy the terms and benefits made available to them – enabling their customers to buy the best brands at great prices.

Q: What advantages are there for installers shopping at a local independent company?

Nike: There are plenty of reasons, I would firstly say it’s knowledge and service that wins hands down. A lot of our members have worked in the industry for their entire careers, or their business might have been in the family for decades. What is common with all of them is that they’re certainly truly knowledgeable and customer focused.

It’s their company name above the door, it’s their reputation so they’re going to want to do whatever they can to support installers and keep their customers happy.

One of the things we want to get across is just how competitive our members are. Being part of the group, they get advantageous buying power and can be more flexible, so my advice to installers is to have a look and compare products, prices and service, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Q: The IPG is exhibiting at InstallerSHOW on 28-30 June at the NEC, Birmingham, why should installers head to your stand?

Nike: We’re using the show as an opportunity to talk to installers and find out how we can make their lives easier. What are their challenges, pain points, what do they need and want more of, and how can our members help?

At the stand, we are going to survey visitors with some simple and quick-fired questions, which will take a maximum of five minutes to answer, and in return, we’ll give them a £25 voucher to spend at their nearest IPG member store.

What we’re concentrating our efforts on at InstallerSHOW and beyond, is championing independence. The IPG members are thriving and continuing to offer innovative products and service. Check out what’s new at your closest store, maybe you could recommend an independent company to join The IPG if you don’t have a store near you already?

Being part of our group helps them to flourish and offer their fantastic service to installers. So please join us at the show or check out your closest IPG store to discover the advantages of shopping at a member store for yourself.

Find out more about the IPG and its members at:

InstallerSHOW is the UK’s largest event for heat, water, air and energy technology professionals, heading to the NEC Birmingham on 27-29 June 2023. Register for your FREE entry pass today.